Steel engraving by Newman & Co, 69 Southwark Bridge Road, 5 March 1877 (Newman prints are often not dated to the year, let alone the day). The Aquarium was opened on 10 August 1872 by the Mayor, Sir John Cordy Burrows, and the ceremony coincided with the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The roof terrace was completed by 1874 and in 1876 the roller skating rink, smoking room, cafe and music conservatory were all added. The Brighton Gazette of 24 June 1876 reported ‘Visitors to the Aquarium can lounge over the balcony or promenade in the terrace gardens and watch the skating [a new craze at the time], but if they want to skate they must pay afresh to enter the actual rink from the terrace’. The skaters seem to be using ‘in-line’ roller skates. The Aquarium was designed by Eugenius Birch who had completed the West Pier six years earlier. Note the clock at the far end of the rink, which is similar to that seen on the Palace Pier today. The view is looking west.
Illustrated in Old Brighton: A Collection of Prints, Paintings and Drawings by Eileen Hollingdale. George Nobbs Publishing, 1979, p 82.
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